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Old 02-17-2021, 08:45 PM   #1
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Help with leak-/system-check post freeze/thaw

Hello all, new 2010 28 International owner here looking for some expert tips for a recent freeze-thaw situation this week.

Did some scanning on the forums for help and picked up a few tips, but would be over the moon to get a step-by-step in terms of the system checklist those in the know would run through. Note: we're new owners and haven't yet had the joy of figuring out all of the ins and outs of the various systems, where stuff is routed, etc. Also, not much of a plumbing guy, but pretty persistent and resourceful.

Background: This last week we were out of town when freezing weather hit our AS (25-30 for 3 days). We had it heated around 60 degrees with a space heater in our absence and a our fresh line hose is heated. No other heating (tape, pads, skirting) in terms of anything that would affect plumbing. Right now we're using it basically as a spare guest room on our property and not getting regular usage (especially plumbing systems). I believe all of the plumbing is stock with the exception of an aftermarket instant-on hot water unit. I believe the fresh tank was low during the freeze.

Just returned and it's about 40 degrees now. The blade valves work no problem and because it's on grass that is freshly thawed with snow melt, not possible to detect any obvious puddles or dripping sounds at the moment. Did turn on the pump briefly (which sounded off - based on another thread likely because of air in lines?)

I'm afraid to run any water for fear of damage in the event of any cracks anywhere and doing any more damage to any cracks or water damage to the area around it. Some of the threads that I ran across suggested that the winterizing proecss might be a good idea to go through and that potentially once everything is empty compressed air can help locate any cracks. I'd rather not, but if that's the best approach, I guess it will teach me where everything is and how it's connected!

Dark and chilly here with damp ground, so will hold off until tomorrow for the system check. Hoping for some good advice from folks here.

Thanks very much in advance! Keeping our fingers crossed that the cabin temp + quality materials kept things in check during our absence, but it's our new baby and want to give it a checkup.

Any thoughts also as to any preventative steps people would take given that we are forced to travel as we did this week away from it and occasionally get freezing temps. If there are pads or tape that we should be installing for the cold months, love to hear peoples' advice.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-18-2021, 05:23 AM   #2
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Testing the water pipes for leaks, not hard to do. Use compressed air.

I made a fitting that I use to blow out for winterizing that allows me to pressurize the system then hold that pressurized air and a gage to monitor against time for pressure loss. Use the same PSI as recommended to winterize.

Requires, regulated compressed air.
Fitting I'll describe from air to water connection. Male air fitting - ball valve - T fitting - low PSI gage - water hose connection fitting.

To use. Connect to trailer city water connection. Setup compressor 40-45 PSI, connect air hose to test/blow out tool pressurize system. When it comes up to pressure close ball valve. Now you wait, watch and listen for hissing air or gage PSI dropping.

Big advantage, compressed air is really easy to clean up and now you have a purpose built testing/blow out tool.

Just keep the pressure in the same range as winterizing.

I can send pic via e-mail, send PM if you want pic.

I just looked at Lowes for PEX rating for PSI so hitting it with 40-45 PSI air well below rating.

"Minimum working temperature 33 degrees F at 160 PSI"

Gary
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:14 AM   #3
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Hey Seattle.About 75 miles south of your area, full timing for few years now, in one of these aluminum tube Yard Whales...
The 8 inches of snow on ground Late Friday night/ Sat was almost all melted Tue.
Was about 50 and sunny at times yesterday.
I think you're pretty much good, given you had some heat to it.
But, if leaving it like that , when temps predicted below 32,turn the heat up, to 70
My advice is put a couple portable electric heaters in it, kitchen area and to rear.Open all lower cabinet/ sink area/ bathroom area doors.You want to keep the trailer mass at higher temps then.
Also, Frost King heat tape/ cord, is time tested in extreme northern low temps, that's what I use.More the merrier on any exposed lines/ dump valves/ etc.
. As with any brand travel trailer or RV, if leaving it unattended,extended time,
( even a day or 2) especially in
cold/ potentially freezing weather,but really anytime,even in July,always turn the water line off, outside the trailer, in case anything starts to leak.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:00 PM   #4
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Just a quick thanks for the responses and tips. We did a full run-through of the plumbing yesterday, bled it, air pressurized and refilled and everything seems to be working A-OK. No more freezing in the forecast, but will nonetheless keep the inside warm, turn the pressure off when we're gone and be smarter next winter.

Dodged a bullet!
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